Essay about Disease History: Rubella or German Measles

Essay about Disease History: Rubella or German Measles

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Rubella also commonly referred to as “German Measles” was previously believed to be a variation of measles until 1814 when it was first correctly indicated as a separate disease in German medical literature. Although the the rubella rash presents similar to the rash associated with measles, rubella is less severe and infectious. Rubella is distinguished by a red rash that first presents on the face and spreads to the trunk, arms, and legs and disappears in the same progression. The rash looks similar to many other viral rashes and must be confirmed by blood tests for the presence of rubella antibodies.
​The rash itself presents with mild discomfort with accompanying symptoms being similar to that of the common cold. Symptoms may include low grade fever (<102 degrees Fahrenheit), sore throat, headache, and reddened eyes. Adults, particularly females may also experience sore joints and swelling of lymph nodes. Approximately fifty percent of those infected with rubella will not exhibit any symptoms. Symptoms will typically last between two and three days and present two to three weeks after exposure to the virus. Although rubella is generally a mild disease, rare cases may result in Encephalitis (a brain infection) occurring in approximately one in six thousand cases or temporary blood problems; both of which rarely result in long term consequences. The most devastating symptom of rubella is the development of Congenital Rubella Syndrome when a pregnant woman passes the virus on to her unborn fetus. Infected pregnant woman have a 90% chance of passing the virus on to the fetus which can lead to miscarriage, stillbirth, and severe birth defects. These defects include: glaucoma, cataracts, bone disease, growth retardation, abnormal mus...


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...vaccine is administered and some have mistakenly taken this as cause and effect. Celebrities and other individuals telling others not to vaccinate their children because it is unsafe could potentially open up a large portion of the population that is not protected and therefore potentially susceptible to contracting rubella.
Although there is no cultural group that is particularly susceptible to rubella, a study conducted by a vaccinologist with the Mayo Clinic that was published February 26, 2014 in the journal Vaccine indicates Black Americans respond better to the rubella vaccine than those with european or hispanic ancestry. The researchers discovered Somali Americans developed twice as many antibodies to rubella after receiving the current approved rubella vaccination than did White Americans. Hispanics appeared to have the lowest immune response to the vaccine.

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